This 29-Year-Old Cebuana Wins Coimbra 3-Minute Thesis Competition with Energy from Hydrogen Proposal

Imagine if the air you breathe could charge your phone or power your car. This is the idea presented by Princess Rosery Cabotaje at the Coimbra 3-Minute Thesis Competition, an academic competition that challenges PhD students to explain their research to a general audience in English in less than three minutes.

The 29-year-old Cebuana, who is currently pursuing her doctorate at Uppsala University in Sweden, was chosen as one of three finalists from hundreds of scholars across Europe who submitted their theses in the first round last February. She presented her work to the jury at the University of Turku in Finland on June 6.

Learning from Nature: Turning Air into Electricity by Princess Rosery Cabotaje

In a social media post, former DOST ASTHRDP-NSC Graduate Scholarship Awardee Princess Rosery Cabotaje shared her journey of presenting the significance of hydrogenases. Her award-winning thesis, Learning from Nature: Turning Air into Electricity, explores how the enzyme HUC uses small amounts of hydrogen in the atmosphere to generate an electrical current, highlighting its potential as a future green energy source.

Cabotaje’s three-minute presentation, now uploaded on her Facebook account, has garnered millions of views and 22K shares. Specializing in Molecular Biomimetics, she won the runner-up prize of 1,500 euros at the competition.

Cabotaje, who graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, earned her master’s degree from the University of San Carlos, and published numerous research projects, humbly credited her past Journalist of the Year awards as stepping stones leading to this defining moment.

While climate change remains a pressing concern, researchers like Princess Rosery Cabotaje inspire hope for a brighter future. By learning from nature and pursuing innovative studies, they demonstrate that sustainable solutions are within our reach. Cabotaje’s groundbreaking work on turning air into electricity reminds us of the potential for human ingenuity to create a greener, more sustainable world.